Greetings Relentless Family! For our fourth quarter, we’re highlighting Coach Monique Mount! In addition to coaching our Wednesday and Friday evening classes, she heads up our CrossFit Teens’ program. Keep reading to learn more about Mo!

Coach Spotlight: Monique Mount

What was your athletic background prior to CrossFit?

I had zero athletic background prior to CrossFit, at least not in organized sports. I was always active and played many different sports with neighborhood kids. My favorite was basketball. I could spend hours shooting hoops in my driveway, and I played many pick-up games. I also did a lot of hiking, biking and other outdoor sports.

How were you introduced to CrossFit, and how long have you been doing it?

I had hired a personal trainer to help me build some strength and rehab from injuries sustained in a couple of car accidents. (I didn’t have health insurance and a personal trainer was the same price as physical therapy.) Originally it was just basic workouts, the same isolation movements they always give you. After about a year and a half, the trainer started giving me some crazy workouts with sandbags, medballs, etc. and which I didn’t know were based on the CrossFit methodology at the time. My trainer left the globogym to open his own place, and I continued with a different trainer. I got bored with those workouts and found the new gym my previous trainer had opened. My first true CrossFit workout was in June 2009. I was hooked and haven’t looked back.

What made you want to be a coach?

Honestly, I can’t pinpoint one thing that made me want to be a coach. There is something about helping people and teaching people that has always appealed to me. I took my Level 1 on a whim in 2010 just to learn more about CrossFit and learn from some of the best coaches. Once I did that, I was asked if I would be interested in coaching kids, so I took my CrossFit Kids certification four months later. When I started working with the kids, I realized exactly how much I loved coaching.

What are your favorite/least favorite movements?

My favorite movements are definitely strength movements, which is counterintuitive as I am built for bodyweight movements. I especially love all the strongman movements. They are just plain fun. I have also found my biggest strength gains from odd strength movements. On the other hand I….HATE….WALLBALLS….AND THRUSTERS. They just hurt, and tend to wreck me for days no matter how many times I do them.

What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?

My husband and I bowl in a league together. We also enjoy many outdoor activities together. I also enjoy reading, cartooning, embroidery, and play violin. There is not enough time in the day for all of my interests.

What is something that very few people know about you?

This question is harder than I thought it would be. I would assume most members didn’t know I play violin. At various times I studied at the Hartt School of Music and the Hartford Conservatory. In middle and high school I played in various chamber and advanced orchestras. I also used to give private lessons, but that lessened as my schedule got busier. I also am a klutz. If there is a weird way to injure yourself, I can assure you I’ve found it at some point in my life. (This includes odd injuries in the gym.) Although thankfully, this has somewhat improved as I’ve gotten older…

What is the greatest advice you can give members?

Don’t be afraid. This is really all-encompassing. Don’t be afraid of new movements, heavier weight, failure. You will never find your true potential if you don’t ever try something new or fail at some point within a workout. We as coaches are there to help you try these new things safely and make progress. We have all failed at some point, and it makes us better athletes and coaches. There is so much more advice I can give, but this is the most common thing I find holding people back whether an experienced athlete or someone just out of on ramp.

What do you see as the “next step” in the CrossFit world?

In some ways, I think CrossFit has to rediscover itself. When I first started it was small garage gyms, gritty, and even the games were small. I think CrossFit as a sport will at some point have to permanently separate itself from CrossFit as a methodology. I hope that the tendency toward more corporate style gyms doesn’t change what I have always known CrossFit to be, community focused, gyms become family, and not cookie cutter. I worry that with various corporate sponsorships and more corporate style gyms this will change, but I don’t want to see members become a number.

What inspires you, as a coach and/or athlete?

I am constantly amazed by those who have overcome various difficulties to become great athletes or just make themselves better. I am more amazed by the 70 year old grandma or the amputee or someone who started CrossFit to literally save their life than I am by the feats of the 20-somethings who have everything going for them. Seeing people that shouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing inspires me to work hard at bettering myself as an athlete and coach.

What is your proudest coaching moment?

There isn’t really one thing that I am proudest of, but there is one example of an athlete which shows what I love most about coaching. Helping people overcome mental barriers. About 5 years ago, there was a girl who came in with her mom and started the Crossfit Teens program. She was visibly overweight, and didn’t carry herself with any confidence. I suspected she probably was bullied in school due to her weight. For her, coming to CrossFit was almost a refuge. Gradually as she accomplished more strength-wise and her conditioning got better she started carrying herself with more confidence. She had the greatest smile whenever she tried something new and succeeded. It’s these kind of confidence changes and small accomplishments no matter the age of the athlete or what the accomplishment is which give me the most satisfaction as a coach.